Investor confidence in Zim continues to grow . . . as Hyatt Regency hotel brand enters local tourism sector

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Investor confidence in Zim continues to grow . . . as Hyatt Regency hotel brand enters local tourism sector 
President Mnangagwa, Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga (behind the President) and Kembo Mohadi (also behind the President wearing spectacles), are led on a tour of the newly-rebranded Hyatt Regency Harare (formerly Meikles Hotel) by Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbra Rwodzi and Mr Ali Albwardly, owner of ASB Hospitality during the official opening of the facility in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Wallace Ruzvidzo

Herald Reporter

Investors continue to express their vote of confidence in ‘Brand Zimbabwe, the World of Wonders’, with the entry of the globally acclaimed Hyatt Regency in the tourism industry being the latest testament to this, President Mnangagwa has said.

The President yesterday presided over the grand opening of the Hyatt Regency Harare, where he assured investors that under his administration, Zimbabwe was a destination where capital, investors and visitors were always guaranteed of safety.

The newly rebranded hotel will also serve as one of the facilities that will host SADC Heads of State and their delegations during the regional bloc’s summit scheduled for August.

“The entry of the Hyatt Regency brand in Zimbabwe is yet another testament and vote of confidence in ‘Brand Zimbabwe, the World of Wonders’.

“It further attests to the confidence investors have in the immense potential of our nation, people, culture and hospitality industry.

“Under our mantra ‘ Zimbabwe is open for business’, be rest assured that we will continue to be an investment destination where capital, investors and visitors will always be safe.”

The President said the Second Republic was committed to granting investors, particularly those in the tourism sector, the necessary support for their operations and enterprises.

“On its part, my Government remains committed to render the requisite support, including through mechanisms such as the tourism duty-free facility, which has benefited the refurbishment programme of this hotel.

“Meanwhile, I am pleased to state that the Hyatt Regency Harare Hotel is one of the facilities we have deemed suitable to host delegates attending the SADC Summit, in August this year.

“Such an endorsement amplifies the fact that we are proud, as a Government and country, to be associated with this brand and the facilities at this hotel.”

The country’s tourism sector, said President Mnangagwa, was a vital cog in its national development agenda.

Zimbabwe is envisaging to have a US$5 billion tourism sector by 2025 to help accelerate the country’s goal of becoming an upper-middle-class economy by 2030.

“Zimbabwe is on an irreversible transformative journey of modernisation, industrialisation and development.

“The arrival of Hyatt Regency will undoubtedly contribute to our determination to achieve a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025 and to accelerate the realisation of our national vision to become a prosperous and empowered upper-middle-income society by 2030.”

The President said he was hopeful that the coming in of Hyatt Regency in Zimbabwe’s hospitality sector and their subsequent success would entice more international hotel brands to set up shop in the country.

“The new opportunities that have been unveiled as a result of my Government’s foreign policy thrust of Engagement and Re-engagement, under the mantra ‘Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none,’ should be harnessed to further scale up tourism investments and arrivals.

“Cultural exchanges and people-to-people relations should be promoted, while our collective capacity to hold regional and international conferences and meetings should be strengthened.

“We remain optimistic that the entry of the Hyatt Regency Harare Hotel will give more confidence to other international hotel brands to invest in Zimbabwe,” he said.

The President also charged tourism players to consolidate Zimbabwe’s capacity to hold regional and international gatherings.

The country’s tourism sector last year grew by 34 percent, exceeding pre-Covid-19 tourist arrivals. “Further,

we look forward to hosting high-profile events in our jurisdiction through your initiatives and linkages.

“As you establish yourselves in the Zimbabwe market, I urge you to remain conscious of the need to be robust and constantly innovate as you build resilience and adapt to the ever-evolving dynamics of both the local and global hospitality industry,” he said.

“Since the advent of the Second Republic, the tourism sector has witnessed phenomenal growth in terms of both investments and quality of tourist facilities throughout the country.”

President Mnangagwa said it was heartening to note that world renowned hotel chains such as Hyatt Regency, were warming up to the country’s favourable operating environment.

“The Hyatt Hotel Chain team have shown faith in our vision as the Second Republic. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Hyatt Regency Group for their unwavering commitment to the success of this project.

“On behalf of Government, the people of Zimbabwe and the tourism and hospitality sector, I, therefore, welcome you to Zimbabwe.

“In this regard, the tourism and hospitality industry is a critical cog in our national development agenda, being the third largest contributor to the national GDP.

“A comprehensive Tourism and Hospitality Industry Growth Strategy is being implemented, which recognises both domestic and international tourism as key drivers to the growth and expansion of the sub-sector,” he said.

The President said it was equally important that tourism players become increasingly innovative in their operations, including employing international best practices.

“I challenge the various clusters tasked with developing and growing business tourism, sports tourism, culture and heritage tourism as well as, medical tourism, among others, to make concerted efforts with clear timelines, to grow the industry.

“As we broaden the tourism products in the sector, it is critically important that we continue being innovative, develop new products and have a highly trained and efficient workforce, pegged against global best practices, supported by the requisite modern physical infrastructure.

“This is more critical as the footprint of the tourism sector is visible in many areas, including through service excellence, efficient transport, comfortable accommodation, hygienic restaurants, good value shopping, entertainment as well as efficient telecommunication services, among others,” said the President.

The coming in of Hyatt Regency, he said, would also see employment creation and skills development, something that was critical in the development of communities.

Hyatt Regency is also partnering with the Harare City Council in the maintenance of the Africa Unity Square, opposite the hotel.

“It is our expectation that the Hyatt Regency Harare Hotel, among its key contributions, will play a pivotal role in our society through employment creation, skills development and the upliftment of our communities by supporting local businesses.

“I am pleased to note that in keeping with our national clean-up and beautification programme, the Hyatt Regency Harare Hotel has committed to responsible tourism and fostering environmental protection in the surrounding area.

“It is commendable, that the hotel is partnering with the Harare City Council to look after the surrounding environment, including beautification of the Africa Unity Square,” he said.

The President then urged Harare Mayor Councillor Jacob Mafume to ensure the expedited beautification of the city under his jurisdiction.

“I exhort you, the Mayor of Harare, Your Worship Councillor Mafume, to scale up the beautification of our capital city and encourage other hotel groups and businesses to adopt spaces surrounding their entities.

“This culture of ecological consciousness and stewardship must become the standard norm as we scale up our quest to preserve and protect our natural environment and living spaces,” he said.

The grand opening was attended by Vice Presidents, Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Ministers, business leaders and senior Government officials.

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